NewsCrime World

Man who died after dog attack suffered numerous injuries

David Ellam
David Ellam

A 52-year-old man who died after he was attacked by a dog which had been returned to its owner, despite concerns that it was dangerous, suffered multiple injuries, a post-mortem examination has found.

David Ellam was set upon while he was walking with his Yorkshire terrier close to his home in Huddersfield on Monday. He died later in hospital.

Detective Chief Inspector Mark Swift, of West Yorkshire Police, said: "Mr Ellam died following multiple injuries sustained during the incident on Monday morning and our inquiries are continuing into the circumstances.

"I would appeal to anyone who was in the area who may have not yet spoken to police, who has any relevant information, to come forward."

Mr Swift said: "We appreciate there will be understandable concern following this tragic event. There continues to be an increased visible policing presence in the area to offer reassurance to the community, and I would urge anyone who has any concerns to speak to officers."

He said the suspect dog remains in kennels while the investigation continues.

Police were called to Riddings Road, in the Sheepbridge area of Huddersfield, at 9.48am on Monday and found Mr Ellam with serious injuries. He was taken to Huddersfield Royal Infirmary but pronounced dead at 9pm.

A force spokesman said that in June a dog warden visited the address where the suspect animal was being kept following concerns from members of the public.

A referral was made to police amid fears the dog may be a dangerous breed, he said.

The spokesman added: "As a result, the same dog was seized by police and, following a screening, it was determined the animal was not a banned breed under the Dangerous Dogs Act. The dog was returned to its owner on August 8."

The 29-year-old owner of the dog was arrested in connection with the incident and later released on police bail.

Neighbours have described the scene as Mr Ellam fought with the dog as he lost large amounts of blood.

One said Mr Ellam was thrown a knife by concerned onlookers but he did not use it on the animal attacking him. The same man said police used a fire extinguisher to subdue the dog.

People living in a quadrangle of homes around where the attack happened said the dog, believed to be called Alex, was kept chained up for much of the time by its owner who lives on the first floor of one of the maisonettes.

A woman who said she was Mr Ellam's cousin wrote on Facebook: "There was nothing accidental about this, it was a tragic incident that should never have happened and correct measures were not taken to ensure this situation wouldn't arise."